Pancit palabok is a Filipino noodle dish that is characterized by the orange-red sauce and bits of fried minced garlic. Although pancit palabok may sound exotic and outlandish, it has a wonderful and familiar taste to it that has made it a favorite in many Filipino households. Now, you can make this traditional dish right in your home with the help of this article.
The first step is to gather all of the necessary ingredients. It may be difficult to find these ingredients if you do not have a Filipino store nearby. If you cannot find the palabok mix, you can make it right at home by using achiote seeds and peanut oil (or any oil that does not impart a heavily "distinctive" taste; for instance, olive oil would not do). Just heat up the achiote seeds (which can be found in any international supermarket, in the Latin/Hispanic foods aisle) with the oil. Once the oil turns a deep red color, turn the heat off, strain the oil, and set the oil aside.
You will also need: ground pork, onions, garlic, chicharron, hard-boiled eggs, green onion, cornstarch and a tablespoon or two of cold water, and "patis," which is fermented fish extract. This particular ingredient can be found at Asian supermarkets. You will also need rice noodle sticks and chicken bouillon cubes. You will also need a half a pound of shrimp. You can use frozen shrimp but fresh is better. First, heat up a tablespoon or two of oil in a stainless steel wok. Once the oil is hot, add minced garlic. When the garlic is aromatic, add chopped onions and the ground pork. Cook the pork until it is somewhat browned and thoroughly cooked. Remove the pork from the heat and place in a bowl.
Start crushing the chicharron until you have two cups plus one. Start making the palabok sauce by boiling the shrimp in a few cups of water. Once the shrimp is cooked, about 5 minutes, remove the shrimp and reserve the shells. Add the shells and the heads back to the water and boil again for another 10 minutes. Remove the shells and heads. Make a cornstarch mixture by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of cold water. Mix until the mixture is no longer clumpy. Slowly add to the simmering shrimp stock. Add the patis, chicharron, and achiote oil. You should also add salt and pepper to taste.
If you can find the palabok sauce mix, you can make your life much easier! Just add the palabok sauce mix to a few cups of chicken stock (which can be made using chicken bouillon cubes). Add chicharron to make the sauce thicker. Cook the rice stick noodles in chicken stock. Make the garlic garnish by frying finely minced garlic in a wok.
Once the noodles are cooked, you can create a plate of pancit palabok. Place a mound of noodles onto a plate, add a couple of ladles of the palabok sauce, sprinkle the garlic garnish, add a tablespoon of chopped green onions, add a handful of crushed chicharron, add a couple of slices of the hard-boiled egg, as well as a couple of spoonfuls of the pork mixture. Enjoy!